Delaware Defeats #16 UMass To Claim CAA Title

Kaminski, a first team All-CAA midfielder who was playing in his school-record 70th career game, netted his first hat trick of the season and the fourth of his career to lead the Blue Hens to the victory. He also scored two goals in the Hens' 10-9 semifinal win over No. 8 ranked Hofstra to earn MVP honors.

“What a great feeling,” said Kaminski, who put the Hens up for good midway through the final quarter when he scored twice in a span of three minutes to break a 6-6 tie. “I couldn't have done it without my teammates. A lot of things opened up out there and I just had to put the ball on net and fortunately I was able to do it tonight. This is such a great accomplishment for our school, our team, and our fans. This is a feeling we will remember for the rest of our lives.”

John Mills added two first quarter goals for the Blue Hens while Grant Kaleikau dished out two assists, Sean Finegan scored a goal and dished out an assist, and Eric Smith contributed an assist to extend his point-scoring streak to 17 games. Senior goalkeeper Noah Fossner, last year's CAA Tournament Most Valuable Player, paced the defensive effort with nine saves saves, including three big stops in the final quarter as the Hens pulled ahead.

Junior faceoff specialist Dan Cooney, who had lost 3 of 12 faceoff attempts in last week's 11-5 loss to Massachusetts and was just 7 of 22 vs. Hofstra in Wednesday's semifinal victory, had a complete turnaround Saturday night as he won 13 of 19, including all five in the third period.

In addition to Kaminski, Fossner, Cooney, and Kaleikau earned spots on the all-tournament team. Kaleikau had dished out a career-high five assists in the win over Hofstra.

“It's extremely hard to win consecutive titles,” said Shillinglaw. “There are so many landmines and injuries that you go through in a season. I am so proud of our guys in that we have been on the road for three straight weeks, spent nearly 40 hours on a bus, and performed unbelievably tonight. We made some adjustments after last week and just wiped the slate clean. Our guys come out and work hard every day and they deserve this win Hopefully we can keep going from here and win some more games.”

Art Kell scored twice and dished out two assists while Will Manny recorded two goals and two assists for Massachusetts, which fell to 10-5 and lost for just the second time in seven home games this season. Connor Mooney, who scored five goals in last week's win over Delaware, was held scoreless Saturday night.

Delaware, which reached the 11-win mark for just the eighth time in school history, becomes just the second No. 4 seed to capture the CAA Tournament, joining Villanova which captured the 2009, and the first two win consecutive league titles since Towson won three straight in 2004-06.

The Hens, who were making their fifth CAA title game appearance, have now won all three of their CAA titles on the road after winning the championship at Towson in both 2007 and 2010. Delaware is now 8-4 in CAA  tournament play, including a 6-1 mark as the lower seed.

The Blue Hens, who have started slowly in game for most of the season, jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead on this night as Mills scored two goals just over a minute apart midway through the first stanza.

But the Minutemen answered with goals from Manny and Kell to open the second quarter and tie the score. Nick Diachenko answered for the Hens as Delaware regained the lead, but UMass' Mike Fetterly scored with just 1:27 left in the half to knot the score at 3-3 at the break.

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2011-05-07



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